Treasure Island: Salvaged Cumberland Charts

The perfect spot to display my latest masterpiece! They greet me instantly when I wake in the morning.

I am thrilled to have my first guest blogger on, Kate McEvoy!  Kate and I have known each other a long time, bonding over the mysteries of traversing the singletons life and our mutual love of vintage chic, good food, and Savannah, Georgia.

Now that we’re both married ladies with our own families, we see each other less but thanks to the wonders of this digital age we keep in touch and as it is with good friends, we can pick up our conversation left dormant months ago, with no fear of upsetting one another with “you haven’t called me back!” Kate’s writing is truly fresh and she has an enviable sense of style in everything from home décor to clothing to outdoor spaces. When Kate told me she found these cool charts of Cumberland Island and had the idea of blogging about them, I jumped at the chance to share her creativity in

Cumberland Island  is just off the coast of southern Georgia, about as close to the Florida border as you can get and still be in the Peach State. It is a naturally magical place – with tall, billowy sand dunes, wild horses, huge moss-draped live oak trees and remnants of past glory among the ruins of the Carnegie, Green and Stafford mansions.

I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful place several years ago and highly recommend it, because with all of it’s wild loveliness it is difficult to describe – it’s meant to be experienced. Accommodations include two choices: camping (close-in near the ferry landing which is what I did on my visit, or backpacking to the interior) or at the other extreme…the timeless, award-winning Greyfield Inn. I’ll confess I have always wanted to visit the Greyfield.  (Are you listening dear hubby? )

Treasure Island: Salvaged Cumberland Charts (Kate McEvoy)

Here’s my dog Cookie and her proud new fetch, properly rewarded with an ear rub and a green biscuit.

I’m Kate, southern by birth, Savannah by variety. In Savannah people are known for having their own unique way. I don’t mean one unique way shared by all, but an expectation that everyone is entitled to her own expressive behavior. Paula Deen likes big hair, big twang and big butter…and that’s just cool. But she accounts for just one, and that leaves about a hundred thousand more blends of peculiar Savannah wine.

From the very start, my ‘way’ was a blazing passion for all things homespun. I gather I’m driven by a desire for my mark on the world to be utterly one-of-a-kind. My book bags, Halloween costumes, dorm bedding… they were all hand-crafted treasures. Today, happiness comes from my many original or often repurposed discoveries. Actually you can boil me down to a constant project list and a storage unit of diamonds waiting patiently in the rough.

No big surprise I target weekend yard sales as the very best vehicle for spotting affordable new treasures. The allure of possibility at a rummage sale really gets my engine revving. Though utterly penniless, I recently stopped at a neighborhood sale while out walking the dog and walked away with the score of the century. In the fiery heat of a record-hot summer, I skipped home unfazed – ecstatic about a couple of old nautical charts! I found them in a pile of castaway junk marked FREE. That’s right, sale price = $0!!

The authentic seal for one of the charts.

Here’s what came of my find: two worn maps of Cumberland Island with catchy kelly greens and subtly faded blues. One chart is north island; the other its southern counterpart. How much more perfect is this pair for new wall art? There’s actually a bedroom called “Cumberland” at my family’s beach home on Tybee Island. In fact, the house itself is named “The Barrier Islander” in honor of Georgia’s coastline. The theme runs prominent throughout our happy vacation home.

My maps have to be an improvement over the stock art found in a pre-cut Michael’s frame!

Well, let the projecting begin… A visit with a custom frame shop and I was quoted $600-$700. How dare they rob me of the pleasure and pride I take from frugality?!! I promptly hit up Michael’s art store for an alternative. During a 40% sale, I found a pair of rustic frames that totaled just $70. While imperfect in size, they were nimble enough to get the job done.

Using the empty frame as a cookie cutter, I determine the exact portion to be fitted within the final frame.

By folding instead of trimming, I retain the option for converting to custom frames in the future.

The backdrop for my new art – the Cumberland bedroom at our beach house. See the top image for placement of these framed charts in the room.